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How do we design and carry out research that matters? What’s at stake when we capture, generate, and collect social data? How do methodologies are negotiated with and against the digital and the ethical? How do we participate in a world that calls researchers to take more active and even activist roles, not just reacting to, but creating better, ethical, sustainable future possibilities for the planet? STEEM facilitates collaborative, interdisciplinary, and ethical explorations of methods for studying and intervening in complex social phenomena, practices and events.

We drive (we crave) innovative thinking around methodologies for studying society in the life and times of digital saturation, datafication, machine learning, accelerated automation, and ethical ambiguities. Methods do more than just guide our research endeavors. They are choices that carry ethical and epistemological consequences. In short, methods are not just lenses for making sense of phenomena, they are powerful forms of intervention, laden with particular epistemologies and ontologies. Methods don’t just reflect ethics, they create ethics for future use.

STEEM brings together a diverse global network of researchers. We sponsor workshops and PhD summer schools across five countries. These focus on critical approaches, a future orientation, and an ethic of care. Through these events, we are nurturing important and interdisciplinary synergies for thinking differently about how we understand and influence networked cultures, the social impact of datafication, algorithmic processes, algorithmic identity politics, cultures as flows, and posthuman interactions.